wOw’s Question of the Week


Tell us: what is your favorite winter escape?

Candice Bergen: Okay. I have many winter escape plans, but, being from LA where winters are 68 degrees, I sort of look forward to snow and cold. However, the recent cold snap here has put a slight dent in my enthusiasm and I am in fact, leaving for LA where we overlook the coast, bike along the beach, hike and love being there. In the city, I burrow in by the fire. And have hot chocolate and stay home and cozy. This makes me very happy.

Jean Chatzky: Wherever I’ve been most recently.  My husband and I spent a few days last week on St. Lucia at a charming little resort called Cap Maison. It rained every day (not for long) and it didn’t even matter. The food was great, the people nice, and the atmosphere totally relaxed. I can’t wait to go back.

Mary Wells Lawrence: If the world were its good old self, I would say that I am IN my favorite place, Mustique, with its skies filled with diamonds at night and its sexy breezes and its warm sea and baby sand beaches. But all the rain California ordered arrived here by mistake today, and it is pouring that drenching kind of rain you see in movies. I have the right dresses for it, the kind that in the movies would be plastered against me because they are see-through nothing. But this is not a movie, so instead I am going out to dinner in a diver’s suit.

I know where I want to be right now, though. I want to be in Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos with a man I have known a while but have kept at a distance. I want to be naughty and flirty and beautiful in one of my see-through nothing dresses. I want to smell the danger in Turks and Caicos. But as my mother used to say, smugly, I am a good girl.  So I will go to dinner in Mustique in thundering rain – alone – in my divers suit.  Ask me next year.

Joan Ganz Cooney: My favorite place in winter is our house in Vero Beach, Florida, where I can play tennis and tool around in a golf cart and never leave the little community the house is in. My second favorite place is our warm apartment overlooking snow-covered Central Park, reading, late at night.

Liz Smith: My favorite winter get-away is one I seldom can afford, although I have had the happy experience several times. It’s to go to tiny Harbour Island in the Exumas of the Bahamas. But it’s kind of difficult to get to this out-of-the-way spot. One flies to Nassau, or to a nearby larger island, takes a smaller plane to the island of Eleuthera and then a brief boat trip to Harbour Island. No cars, save for trucks and emergency vehicles, are allowed on Harbour Island. Everyone goes about in golf carts. There is very little to do but visit the exquisite pink sands beach, go bone-fishing, sailing and the rest. There are a few good cafés and one or two lovely shops but I’d say Harbour Island is not “commercial.” I wish I could visit every single winter.

17 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Linda Myers says:

    Before the recession, I went to Southern CA each year for a winter vacation. Leaving behind a Kansas ice box and laughing at seeing locals downing thick coats when the temps went below 60. I love visiting CA although I always seem to find a way to get lost at times. It only took once of figuring out you really can not turn around in Topanga Canyon which you though might be a shortcut and mountain roads where they consider a slight raise of dirt to be a barrier, but I would not trade it.
    In 2002, I took along a friend and her 14 year old son, who watched way to many commercials. Went down to the winery country and he happened to see a very long stretch limo next to us. Rolling down the window on a slow street he started asking the darkened windows if they had Grey Poupon, as we pulled up to the stop sign I could see the window slowly coming down and though OMG, I would like to kill this kid. A seriously old man was alone in the back seat and when the window came down and he was laughing so hard it was unbelievable, so maybe for just a little while – some tourists made his day! Hopefully if this economy turns around, those trips will start happening again!

    • avatar Chip Griswold says:

      That’s a nice story – made me smile.  Sometimes we forget that there are those who don’t take things too seriously and appreciate the fun sense of a kid.

      • avatar Linda Myers says:

        Vacations are about exploring the imagination and southern CA is a great place to do it! I always went in November when the locals had pulled back from the beaches, threw away any agendas and just had fun. The only thing I secure are the flights, hotel and rental, the rest is wide open.

  2. avatar Chris Glass` says:

    Fall and winter have always been my favorite seasons. I feel more alert and active in cool weather than I do in summer heat. It is a time to cook meals that bring the family together at the table. Our adult children linger and talk without the distractions of other outside activities. It is a time for baking bread or cookies with warming smells that welcome in cold family members. I hope these memories will remain with them to pass on to their own families when I am gone.

  3. avatar Joan Larsen says:

    Stunningly beautiful, romantic, with byway roads winding into the mountains or nearby vineyards, dining to kill for, and a tucked-away hotel with inner gardens and fountains, private terraces off your suite that overlook the Pacific lies my annual February getaway:  Carmel and Big Sur, California.  I know it well – or think I do — but each year we find hidden trails or find a waiter wonderful enough to take us by jeep on private roads into the otherwise off limits areas along the Big Sur coast. 

    Weather everywhere now is unpredictable .  .  . but only when there is a splash of showers do we spend most of the day in the Monterey aquarium in awe or lounging down the Big Sur coast at Nepenthe, hanging over the ocean high up with a roaring fire going and congenial people that are always happy to talk and laugh.  Down below is Julie Packard’s gorgeous spread of green at oceanside — Julie who owns the Aquarium.  Exercise?  My favorite is tidepooling, jumpng from rock to rock in low tide and pretending I am a ballet dancer trailing my fingers in the shallow water where the most stunningly colored creatures clinging to the rocks become like a jewelry collection laid out just below the clear waters of the ocean.

    I call it my own bit of heaven .   .  . and never fail to come home feeling refreshed and renewed, having great new stories — like finding a baby sea lion ashore, lost from his mum forever.  Quickly I called the wildlife rescue, and two of us with a net were able to swoop him up, put him in their vehicle — but not before I was allowed to name him.  On their website, I would look up my “baby” and for months there were comments on his growth and condition — and the volunteer and I became fast friends, shedding a few tears to find an “orphan” but thrilled to know that he thrived and was ready finally to be released. 

    Could a February getaway be better than that?  Memories forever.


  4. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    One word. Jamaica. Okay. Two words. San San.  Most have never heard of it. Which is why everyone goes there. Jamaica’s version of Mustique.

    And everyone talking about California. Brrrrrrrrrrr.  They have nice cold winter nights in California as well.  Not as cold as New York. But still cold.

  5. avatar Rho says:

    I also like fall and winter.  But……….if I want to escape, I’ll take a cruise.

  6. avatar Mary says:

    When I am inside my little house where a woodfire is burning and warm bread is waiting with fresh jam made in the hot summer, I am exactly where I want to be.  I cuddle up with a great book, and don’t bother to get dressed beyond donning a clean turtleneck and pj pants, big socks, and sweater.  My cats at my feet and a nice soft throw and waking up to find my book on the floor.   There is nothing like the very soft sound of snow against a window and looking out to see the hills, valley, and trees covered with the fluffy stuff.         Then reality hits and I have to go out.  I shovel, I scrape ice, then I tackle the car and driving down the semi plowed back roads and curse up a storm that this is going to be my last winter in this god foresaken state!  I’ve muttered these words many times but this has got to be the end of it.  But, Where?   At this point in the Winter I think anyplace warm, sunshine, and even a rain puddle will do.

    But, here is the problem.  The Winter will give way to glorious Spring.  The grass will become bright and glisten with dew and dandelions will peak up with the Iris.  One morning the sun will be warm and shine over me as I wake and the memories of Winter will fade once again.

  7. avatar Donna H says:

    My dad winters in Florida, & he’s invited me to spend some time with him.  However, he lives in a cramped, aging RV in an RV park (though some of the “mobile” homes are luxurious).  I love my dad, but the combination of the lack of space, his slavish insistance that my brother & I have no right to be upset at my sister’s deceitful & malicious behaviour, &  his refusing to wear his hearing aides to avoid hearing my suggestions about what to do & where to go can be too much at times.
    I mentioned to the Current Mr. Right (who lives in the USVI) that I might visit St. Thomas, but got a lecture on how the Virgin Islands had gone downhill, & I’d be better off going to Aruba.  I checked, & the crime rate id high, especially against tourists (& the Current Mr. right lives with his elderly mum).
    So Bubba the WonderCat & I snuggle into the library sofa to read & watch Travel Channel shows about warm places.
    I have been going to most of my nephew’s high school swim meets, so I do get to see a body of water occasionally (lol).

  8. avatar Maggie W says:

    Here along the Gulf coast, we rarely have freezing weather.  But the drizzling cold rain gets wearisome, and I am always antsy.  So our favorite getaway is Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.  It’s a short flight for us , and this area of the world is unique in many ways with a varied desert as well as a semi tropical climate.  There are four mountain ranges and the Sea of Cortez makes for fabulous boating, diving,  and fishing.   I love the people and also have made many friends with Californians who are drawn to Ensenada, which has a Mediteranian climate.  My favorite, however, has always been Cabo San Lucas.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Mexico is number two on my list. Or used to be. Seems of late you need to hire your own security force just to enjoy any of the beaches anywhere. Baja is beautiful. But just as dangerous. Someone said the other day that no tourist had been targeted in all the violence. That may be true but who wants to be the first?
      My favorite spot in Mexico by the way is Manzanillo. What Acapulco once was before it was discovered.

  9. avatar Grace OMalley says:

    I have to agree with Mary.  I live in the Great Smoky Mountains and when the weather turns cold and snowy like today, there is no place I would rather be than tucked into my comfy little house with something nice to eat, a mug of Irish tea, something good to read and my two Scottish Terriers on the bed next to me.  I have to admit though that after reading Mary Wells various commentaries about Mustique, I would love to be thin and rich and posh and beautiful enough to spend some time there. But since I am just an ordinary person with an ordinary life, the ordinary comforts are enough to keep me happy. 

  10. avatar D C says:

    I have never had a winter escape.  I absolutely love looking at pictures of The Maldives, but unless I win the lottery, don’t think I’ll ever get to go.  I have lived in Houston my whole life, so there never really was a reason to run away from winter.  Take today for instance… the sun is shining, the sky is a gorgeous blue, I could take a walk all over downtown and just wear a sweater.  What I need escape from is the Houston summer.  We have a North Carolina trip planned this summer — that’ll be a little nice weather we hope.  Meanwhile, I keep trying to win a lottery so I can make that trip to the Maldives. 

  11. avatar LandofLove says:

    The best escape regardless of the season . . . books.

  12. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Definitely Las Vegas.  It never gets old.
    It is often described as an Adult Disney World, for indeed it is! It is manufactured fun. Faux landmarks and buildings, man made waterfalls and volcanos that erupt. Cheesy characters from days gone by performing on countless stages throughout the city. Alcohol flowing like water….people arriving thinking they are going to clean out the casinos -but soon leave with less money than they arrived with. The music and tacky souveniers, and the food…..the food is 5 star. From the hot male strippers to the ice cold margaritas, I love Las Vegas.

  13. avatar Deni says:

    I grew up in the projects in Buffalo anywhere away from there was a vacation.  But not until i was an adult, and still I’ve never been on a real vacation.  They’ve always been to visit family and they all live up north.  But this will change, I’m going on a cruise with my son and his wife, and then another cruse with my daughter, just mommy and me time 🙂
    For me it’s a first, but not for them, they’ve all made it a practice when they left home to take time for themselves and get away from family and work at least once a year, I could never afford it, but they don’t have children yet so I say go for it. 
    This will be for me my first real vacations where i don’t have to cook, make beds, watch kids, do the driving, just lay under an umbrella and read a book or swim, visit a few islands and enjoy myself and i’m looking forward to both cruises.:)

  14. avatar Mad Women says:

    The best winter escape is anywhere it’s summer.  Hello New Zealand.